Why Are People Rotating Cows In Their Minds?
The human mind is as profound as the deepest parts of the ocean and as lofty as the farthest star, rivaling the capabilities of even our most sophisticated artificial intelligence models. One thing which online posters have discovered about most human minds is they can rotate imaginary objects just by visualizing them and turning them around. Of course, the best and most logical object to rotate is a cow.
Where Did Rotating Cows Come From?
The first references to mental rotation online come from 2015, when it was a joke on Tumblr to talk about rotating shapes.
A viral tweet earning over 300,000 likes in January of 2021 brought the idea of mental rotation to a broad public. This sort of surreal tweet suggested that rotating a cow was something that the cops could never stop you from doing and an important liberty that everybody enjoys.
From there, the text of the tweet turned into a meme itself, and people posted videos on YouTube reading the tweet in various funny voices and impersonations.
What Does Rotating A Cow Mean?
Close your eyes and picture a cow, with its head pointed to the left and its back end pointed to the right. Now, visualize this cow rotating clockwise, so that it turns all the way, 360 degrees. Can you visualize the cow rotating fully around in one fluid motion? If you can do this, then rotate it a few times more.
Some people, according to studies, are unable to mentally rotate objects. Arguably, most people do not need to mentally rotate objects in their day-to-day life.
Why Do People Rotate Cows In Their Minds?
For some, rotating a cow in the mind may be fun. For others, it's the sort of strange and wacky thought that the internet exists to bring us.
Rotating a cow in your mind is also a private activity. The meme reminds people of how well they can amuse themselves with no screen and no one else around.
What Is The Difference Between Shape Rotators And Wordcels?
Wordcels are, according to internet lore, people who cannot rotate shapes in their minds. Shape rotators are able to think of the world through pure forms and essences, while wordcels are only capable of understanding the world through language. It's the difference between being more of a math person or more of a humanities person.
It rephrases a famous philosophical debate around the nature of the world: do we perceive things truly as they are, or do we only perceive them in the ways that our language allows us to describe them? Depending on how you'd answer this question, you may be a wordcel or a shape rotator.
For the full details on rotating a cow in your mind be sure to check out our entry on the meme here for even more information.
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